All about that grace (and marshmallow hospitality)
From stuffing M&Ms into marshmallows at 1:00 in the morning to playing piano at my roommate’s cousin’s house, I’d say this fall break was something to remember.
I could spend this entire column talking about all the stories from fall break. But I think I’ll just do a WatchMojo-style column: “Top Two Things About Micah’s Fall Break That You Don’t Want to Miss!”
Number One: Grace!
In my freshman year, I took a modern grammar class. It’s still one of my favorite classes, not just because of the content — I love grammar way too much — but because of the professor. He would always bring some kind of wisdom or anecdote to each class. We’d learn just about everything.
One time, just before Thanksgiving break, when several of the students had skipped class to get home a day earlier, my professor shook his head in disappointment: “I am not strict about very many things in life. But one of the things I find completely unacceptable is when you’re given nine days off to take a 10th. It’s bad news.”
At this point, all the students in the class were pretty upset that he’d say something so controversial. Then he brought up the passage that Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12: “A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
My professor continued: “I encourage you to live your life with those words on your lips to God: ‘Your gift to me is enough.’ … What God gives you is enough. Never take more than you’re given. Never. It is a bad statement.”
This has stuck with me since. Many in that class told me afterward that he took that verse out of context. I’m not sure I agree with that assumption. If Christ’s grace is, as we read and sing and talk about, prevalent and piercing through our daily lives, then isn’t a break, no matter how short, within his grace?
I’ve had a better view of breaks since that. Breaks in the collegiate life are very clear instances of the Lord’s blessings, that is, his grace in your life. Whether you use those breaks to get caught up with school or relax, his grace, his gift to you of rest, is always enough.
Number Two: Hospitality!
The idea of hospitality has come up a lot in my life recently. Being a guy who thinks a lot about anxiety — because I deal with it all the time — I’ve started to realize that being comfortable in another place depends a lot on the company you are with.
During the car ride up to Pennsylvania, my mind was busy conjuring up the “what ifs.” It’s my brain’s favorite pastime: “What if I spill a drink? What if I say something wrong? What if I haven’t considered every nuance that ‘How are you?’ can mean?” So when I entered my roommate’s house, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But when I was greeted with smiles, hugs, laughter and a cozy living room, my anxieties, my “what ifs,” flew out the window and were replaced by confidence and peace.
Hospitality can be uncomfortable. There are lots of weird people whom the Lord asks us to be hospitable to (and I’m one of those weird people). But despite its discomfort, hospitality is one of the biggest combatants against anxiety. A warm home and a warm drink do wonders to ease a worried mind.
So there are my top two fall break thoughts, the two characteristics I enjoy most. Honestly, grace and hospitality are two of Christ’s characteristics that I wish I’d focus on more.
Gilmer is the opinion editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X